With more casting announcements made for yet another Ted Bundy film, a conversation has started about Hollywood’s obsession with the infamous serial killer, and others like him (Jeffrey Dahmer springs to mind).
Now that people are becoming more aware of how invasive and exploitative true crime can be, you’d think Hollywood would tone down glamorizing these very real killers and any remaining victims/their families. There are plenty of iconic stories of fictional killers out there, why can’t they just make more of those rather than re-traumatizing people who were affected by these men?
Perhaps it’d be different if these films and shows took a different approach, like the upcoming Ryan Murphy series Monster promises to do (although I’m still wary), but casting known heartthrobs like Zac Efron and Chad Michael Murray in the role feels like it’s sending the wrong message.
There are real people out there who are obsessed with murderers, to the point of sending fan letters, nude photography and far more graphic content to people who terrorize and slaughter others. It’s starting to feel like we’re favoring people who glamorize serial killers over the real people affected by these killers.
We have plenty of fictional killers, why do we need an endless stream of Ted Bundy movies?
When we have Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kreuger, etc. it seems unnecessary and damaging to consistently return to the real serial killers out there. Documentaries are one thing, (although I think it could also be argued we have a glut of those) television that tries to paint them as sympathetic is something else entirely.
Sometimes I think about what the reaction would be if a film or television show was made about Osama Bin Laden’s origins, Dylann Roof, or another recent school shooter. Perhaps because these serial killers haven’t been active for decades, certain storytellers think enough time has passed that it’s now okay to tell those stories from a “different” perspective.
But can you imagine the backlash if Netflix decided to make an awards-bait series about a known terrorist organization or someone like Kyle Rittenhouse?
By telling Ted Bundy’s story over and over again, it feels like we’re rewarding him for his horrific murder rampage that resulted in more than 30 women being killed.
I get it, maybe Murray is tired of starring in Hallmark movies and random VOD films but, surely he can find something better than American Boogeyman, *insert eye roll here*.